this is mostly to help clear up misconceptions about Tenderloin Housing Clinic being part of free market housing.
Technically it is, in that working people are allowed to come into THC buildings. Or, at least that’s what THC tells people. In order for a working person to get a room at one of their many SRO’s, you have to apply at the homeless shelter and get on a waiting list. You cannot go to the front desk, you cannot go to the managers office, and you cannot go to the main office at 126 Hyde. You have to go to the shelter. There is a deep suspicion that THC and the mayors office purposely set it up this way to make it difficult for working people to get a room within a THC building.
From one of the many press releases that the Department of Human Services and the Mayors office have released in recent years. DHS’ Housing First Program, where clients have tenants’ rights, serves as the primary Care Not
Cash housing resource. Homeless CAAP clients may be referred to any Housing First Program
hotel, although this group has exclusive access to the sub-group of hotels supported by Care Not
Cash funds. As of May 2005, there were 793 single room occupancy (SRO) hotel rooms being
supported by Care Not Cash. DHS projects it will lease an additional 500 units during the
upcoming fiscal year (July ’05 through June ‘06) using Care Not Cash funds.
The Seneca Hotel where I live used to be ALL working people before Tenderloin Housing Clinic. Now there are barely any working people left, and now it’s almost ALL PAES and Care not Cash and SSI. This policy just about guarantees mayhem within the hotels, and displaces working people. In this hotel, over the course of seven years, nearly all working people have left. They have been browbeaten, intimidated, and harrassed, by the welfare industrial complex to where they just figured it was easier to move out.
Not me, I’m stubborn. Instead, I feel it’s more important to show the public how this insidious policy works, and how the City, and public policy and Tenderloin Housing Clinic is in fact taking housing stock away from working people. I can almost guarantee that THC can’t come up with hard numbers of how many working people actually applied and got rooms at one of their buildings. The difficulty starts with the requirement that one apply at the shelters, and I’ve heard rumors of people who tried that only to be told they only deal with homeless people – catch 22
All of this, of course, goes against nationally recognized standards of housing, including the area of ‘supportive housing’ of which THC is one.
Back in 2001 when this hotel was managed by City Housing Inc, the management had been given guidelines for supportive housing by a group called The Corporation for Supportive Housing. They still have a section on their own website that issues guidelines for non profits just like Tenderloin Housing Clinic.
But City Housing Inc was swallowed by THC a few years ago, and they completely abandoned some of the guidelines that the Corporation for Supportive Housing issued. In fact, current management has never even heard of CSH.
why is this important? because CSH strongly recommends that supportive housing include a significant percentage of working people. You can still find similar documents, but this is an original PDF from 2001
In it, they have a section on why it’s important to have mixed housing, working and non-working housing, and to SUPPORT mixed housing, because if you make it exclusively welfare, you are inviting disaster, and all you have to do is scroll down this Tenderloin Housing Clinic section to see exactly what sort of disasters are virtually guaranteed by not following this policy
The above PDF from 2001 was actually done with the support of Housing and Urban Development, which is at the federal level, and here is a scan from the section on mixed housing and why it’s important